Concerned market traders have called for more to be done after a spate of thefts hit their businesses.

They say a number of stalls have been targeted in Nottingham’s Market Square in the past fortnight and it is becoming a serious problem.

A now familiar incident took place when two police officers rushed down Cheapside towards the Market Square and apprehended a thief at one of the jewellery stalls.

Stefani Melcher, 39, who runs the Silver Crescent stall, was surprised by how quickly the attempted theft and arrest was all over.

She said: “One minute the guy was fingering through the jewellery, the next he was being taken away.”

Miss Melcher said she was suspicious of the man before he was arrested: “I have been doing this for 15 years and am familiar with how criminals look.”

Ilia Nikandrov, 32, the owner of the Russian Woodcrafts stall, told how petty thieves had frequently targeted him.

He said: “Sometimes when I am distracted by customers, they come up and steal the smallest dolls from the edges of the stall – just little things, but it adds up.

“When people steal from a supermarket, they’re stealing from a big corporation, but when they steal from my stall, they’re stealing from me.”

Teresa Bradley, who owns the Eclectica stall, commented on the type of people who steal from her.

The 43-year-old said: “I find that it’s more often women who steal from me. Posh women who presumably feel like they don’t need to pay for things.”

She declined to specify the cost of the thefts, but did mention that two women attempted to take a £25 bracelet a few days before.

In December Nottingham will have its annual Christmas market in the square.

Nottingham City Council declined to comment on the issue.